Saturday, September 28, 2019

Book Reviews - Pumpkin Spice Scandal!

One of my goals for October is to read more on themes. These are September reads, so you get what you get here. . .

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start-Up by John Carreyou was another fantastic piece of media on Theranos. While I know this predates other media (the podcast, the movie(s), and the articles), I hadn't had a chance to read . This is a wonderfully done expose on everything that went down. The interesting dimension of this one is the way the author is involved in the story. It adds an additional layer of intrigue. As with all dives into the story of Theranos, you'll read this and just say "HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?" throughout. Seriously, even though this wasn't my first exposure to the story, I was still captivated at every turn. If you're not familiar, this is the story of a company that promised to change the medical industry via blood tests requiring only a finger prick. Wow, that sounds awesome, right? It does, but what isn't so awesome is that it's not true. The book is then an exploration from idea to truth exposure. It's a wild ride, and you'll be captivated by all the angles of this scandal!

Read this book if - You are interested in learning more about the Theranos scandal - either because you don't know a thing, or you have consumed lots about it!

Seeking Slow: Reclaim Moments of Calm in Your Day by Melanie Barnes is a thoughtful reflection on the pace of life today. The author advocates for literally slowing down to actually take in the world and humans around us. Given the subject matter, I appreciated that this isn't a lengthy read. Rather she focuses on easy to implement strategies to make this happen. Prior to reading this, I hadn't heard the term formally used, so this was also a good exploration of what a slow living lifestyle would look like. Much of that lifestyle means being mindful of the moment you're in, putting down you're phone, and finding contentment in the everyday. This isn't a lengthy read, so if you're looking to get an introductory look at the concept, I think this is a good place to start. Thanks to NetGalley for the early peek at this read!

Read this book if - You want something to introduce you to the topic of slow care. You're feeling overwhelmed by the pace of life these days.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks was a read that oozed autumn in the most wonderful of ways. The only way this could have been more full of fall would have been is if this was pumpkin spice scented. Also, I wouldn't hate if there was a pumpkin spice scented edition released! This is the story of Deja and Joseph who have been co-workers at the pumpkin patch for years. It's now their last night working together, and they decide to go on an epic adventure. As they do, they take in on the pumpkin patch things. Y'all, literally all the things. Best of all, this involves so many delicious fall treats as they traverse through the park that I am still craving. This is just a wonderful story of friendship, and the illustrations are outstanding. It's just an absolutely awesome seasonal graphic novel. Sometimes you just need a read that makes you smile, and this is the book to do just that. If you're going to read this (and you should!), you'll definitely get maximum enjoyment if you do this in September through November to soak up maximum autumn feels. 

Read this book if - You're looking for an autumn read. You want an all-around great story of friendship.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly is a story told in the past and the present. In the past, it is an eclipse in 1999. Laura and Kit are avid followers of the phenomenon. As they are walking around, Laura sees something happening between a man and a woman. It's a fleeting moment, but Laura knows she needs to address the situation. (I would offer a content warning here that much of what follows is related to this alleged assault.) With this, Laura and Kit become connected with the woman in unexpected ways. After sharing the initial incident, the story then moves to 2015. Laura and Kit have changed their names and are in hiding. The story then alternates between back then and now to piece together what happened after the moment in 1999 and what has got them to where they are in the present. For me, I like alternating timelines as a way to build suspense. This definitely kept me reading. Ultimately, this just wasn't my jam. I don't mind when you cannot figure out the truth of a tale, but the way this was told just didn't connect for me. I also just really didn't like the twist in the tale - I found myself saying, "Wait, that's it?" This had an intriguing premise, and I liked the way it was built around eclipses, but from a thriller end, this just wasn't one I dug.

Read this book if - You want a thriller that builds plot around what is the truth - and what isn't?

Until the next round.